For my friend…and for the lovers and dreamers in all of us…
For my friend…and for the lovers and dreamers in all of us…
I have chills. I’m flushed. I’ll break out into a drippy sweat, my hair clammy against my neck, my t-shirt drenched…then the shivering commences. My stomach is in knots; I feel as though I’m about to throw up.
I wish I could say it’s because I’m falling in love.
But no, sadly, it’s far more basic than that: I’m sick.
I left work early, crawled into bed for a while. But the weather is worsening. A tropical storm is on its way, so I need to drag myself to the store to fortify my food supplies before the children arrive tomorrow.
It’s times like these when I wish I had someone to watch out for me, to take care of me, to bring me hot soup in bed. I swear, I’m extremely good about reciprocating if anyone feels like volunteering.
But at least I slept for an hour…and watched two older episodes of Law & Order, featuring delicious men who could bring me soup in bed anytime.
Sigh. Back to the real world…and soon, I hope, back under the covers, to dream, to heal.
Last night I dropped Gambit and his best friend at the chess club, handing them a bag of mini Reese’s candies as penance because I felt just slightly guilty for running off to play with my chess mom friends. Being completely wild and out-of-control crazy women, we hustled off to (drum roll)….a documentary viewing.
While it may not have been all disco balls and tequila shots, there was wine and popcorn. And the witty subject of the documentary, Bob Lind, joined us in the audience and spoke with us afterwards.
It was highly entertaining. I loved his stream-of-consciousness lyrics and the way his songs simply ended when he had nothing more to say. His music definitely did not “play cute.”
All in all, pretty effing cool.
O, swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon…
I have never heeded Juliet.
For the moon, and its inconstancy, holds a fatal romantic attraction for me.
Last night was like any other as I prepared for sleep. I closed my book, then gently pushed the cat aside, just enough so I could slip under the covers. (Lately, he drapes lazily across my thigh as I read, his whiskers sending shivery tickles down my spine whenever they flutter against bare skin.)
I snuggled in as best as I could and turned off the lights.
But instead of being engulfed in darkness, my room shimmered so brightly that at first I thought I’d forgotten to flip the closet switch.
Then I looked up. From my slightly skewed, semi-diagonal, cat-skirting angle, the moon, almost completely full, was gleaming down directly on me, lustrous through my skylights, illuminating my room.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…that’s amore.
That gorgeously fat pie-shaped moon slammed me right between the eyes, evoking wistful memories of amore gone by, days when good outweighed bad, when romantic optimism sprang hopeful from my breast, when love and desire mingled together as one, when I lost myself willingly and completely, not knowing where I ended and another began. I could feel the longing overtaking me, consuming me….
By the light of the silvery moon, I want to spoon…
When I contracted to buy my home, I was madly in love, dreaming of us lying together in my bed, entwined and entangled, gazing up through the skylights, searching for stars. And though I scan the skies nightly, it’s not exactly in the way I’d planned.
My cat is a welcome bedmate: warm, soft, appealingly tactile, with a rumbly deep purr that’s perfect white noise. But sometimes, he’s not quite enough. I yearn, on occasion, to tangle in the moonlight with a human someone, sharing whispered dreams, succumbing to mutual desires, slumbering together, arms interwoven, breathing as one beneath the stars.
Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars…
And so, unlike Juliet, when I grow misty, I do swear by the inconstant moon, thoughts of love, romance and star-sprinkled kisses swirling through me under its gentle watchful eye. For the moonlit night holds a warmth, a magic and a power, however fleeting, that too often dissipates in the cold, harsh, judgmental light of day.
My passion unfolds by the light of the moon. My heart, bewitched and bemused, softens under its spell. I look up into the vast dark sky, anchored by a luminous moon, pierced by twinkling stars, and I see into infinity, into endless possibilities, into the wonder and magnitude of pure love, absent pain, absent heartache.
So pledge to me by the moon, make promises beneath its amber glow, and this I vow:
I will believe…if not forever, at least until the sun rises.
I’ll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new.
I’ll be looking at the moon,
But I’ll be seeing you.
Late last night I emailed the yoga training teacher, informing her I was absolutely, positively, unconditionally, wholeheartedly ready to commit…no ifs, ands or buts. I told her I’d completed the application but I needed to wait for Friday’s paycheck before I sent my deposit. In the meantime, could she please reserve my spot? She responded warmly and affirmatively.
Despite my outward assuredness, I was a quivering mess inside, knowing I was still scrambling over how to piece together the tuition. I’d managed to assemble half, but hadn’t determined how to squeeze the remaining extra dollars from my painfully tight budget.
Who needs to eat, right?
But something inside me knew that somehow, in some way, this was meant to be. So I took that leap of faith, hurling myself over the cliff absent a safety net, trusting that I would land whole and intact. I am strong, I am capable, I can do anything I set my mind to. I could make this happen.
And the Universe, sensing my resolve, responded today.
Early this morning, my boss’ boss visited our department. He began by stating, solemnly, that he was sorry there would be no raises this fiscal year. But, he added, brightening: we were receiving bonuses for meeting our cost savings goal.
Then he handed me a check that covers, almost exactly, the second half of my tuition.
After he left, I closed my office door and cried.
Thank you, Universe.
I made the commitment.
Yoga teacher training, here I come!
Yes, I’m really doing it. I’m still in shock.
*grin grin grin grin grin*
As I washed my hands today, I glanced up, saw my reflection in the mirror. There, gleaming brightly, was a silver strand.
Although it’s not my first gray hair, it’s the first one I’ve left untouched. In the past, whenever I’ve spied that symbol of faded youth, I’ve yanked the strand instantly. Every six months or so, because my gray hairs are so scattershot, I’ve had the whole lot of them highlighted out of existence.
I’ll admit, in general I’ve been blessed with good genes. People say, and I have to agree, that I look fairly young for my age. And one would think that I, as a newly-minted single, would be extremely concerned about maintaining an appealingly youthful appearance.
Sometimes, though, it surprises even me how little I’m beginning to care about my looks.
I’ll confess to many lapses – in kindness, in judgment, in character – but overall, I’m becoming far more drawn to searching for my inner beauty. I prefer tending to my spirtual essence over enslaving myself to outer comeliness. I’ve watched others fight against aging, overly invested in their external appearances while allowing their insides to fester, growing increasingly putrid and hideous. Such a focus feels shallow, misguided and ultimately, foolish.
Yes, I’ve watched and learned.
What I’ve learned, in particular, is that time and gravity eventually take their toll, no matter how valiant the fight. At some point – usually sooner rather than later – swimming against the tide becomes ridiculous.
But inner radiance only grows brighter with age and wisdom. It is a beauty that transcends the physical body, lighting up one’s countenance through the eyes, the expression, the soul.
I’m not entirely vanity-free. Of course, I’d love to age magnificently, but I want to do it through yoga, exercising, eating (moderately) well, learning, loving, playing, living life in full color. And I’m certainly not planning to trade in my shoulder-baring dresses or long locks to wear a poodle cut and frumpy housecoats any time soon. Makeup and razors are still part of my morning routine (though I’m on the fence about highlights).
But you will never find me under the surgeon’s knife or visiting the dermatologist for regular Botox. I’d much rather laugh merrily or love lustily to encourage naturally happy lines and wrinkles. You won’t find me strapped in push-up bras or horribly constricting slimming undergarments, forcing my body to be something it’s not. I’m a braless, sundress, flip flop, let-it-all-hang-out kind of girl. I’ll always remain that girl, simple and plain, even when I’m a much older old lady.
I’d rather use vanity money, if I had it, to whisk my family away on an extravagant vacation. Or maybe I’d indulge in a long, soul-satisfying yoga retreat. Or maybe…I’d share it with those less fortunate.
I want my spirit to shine brightly and well. I long to make a difference, to matter in the world, to touch my soul and have my soul touch others’. And that is the beauty I seek – steadfast, honest, true – because inner beauty is the one light that never fades, never dims, never dies.